We had made fairly good time, despite our lingering at Renews where we welcomed several species of shorebirds back. By 11:30 a.m. we reached Cape Race road where we headed directly to Daley's Cove. It was our hope to catch sight of some rare sea birds through the "Barrett Scope." On the way in the road, we were met with Savannah Sparrows everywhere. This one was perched in a cool area having a drink when we drove up.
By now, you may have noticed all of the sunshine in these pictures. It was a glorious day with temps in the low 20s and light, warm winds. It couldn't have been more perfect, except at Daley's Cove where the fog rolled in after about 15 minutes there.
We packed it in and headed for St. Shott's. Catherine checked out the seabirds, and I headed for the field. There was nothing uncommon about the birds in either place, but the setting, the weather, the smell and the amount of "life" that surrounded us filled us up with the "bigness" of the day.
We came across two Monarch, three Painted Lady butterflies and at least two other types of butterflies that I didn't have time to track down for a picture. Oh, by the way, the farmer's crop at the hilltop in St. Shott's is thriving.
Time was running out quickly, and we had to keep moving. Next stop - Cape Pine Lighthouse. There was a small stretch of Cape Pine Road where the air filled with a naturally sweet aroma that should be bottled. While the Savannah were ever-present, there seemed to be little else in the way of birds on the road. However, just before we reached the lighthouse, two juvenile Horned Lark lifted off and settled back down nearby. For me, it was my first look at a juvenile. Very interesting. The beauty of Cape Pine took my breath away. I didn't even try to capture it with my camera; it would have been impossible. The gentle "blow" of a Minke Whale broke the silence. The flurry of Savannah's against this backdrop could have been set to music. At one point there were 14 Savannah Sparrows sitting on the row of fence posts, adding to the enchantment of the area.
Time evaporated at Cape Pine Lighthouse. Reluctantly, we headed out. Still awestruck by the impact of the land on us, we were pretty quiet for a change. Then, a large bird flew in over us. It landed near the road, and we were delighted with having had the added bonus of seeing a new year-bird for both of us - a Whimbrel.
Undaunted by the day's birding, around 5:30 p.m. we headed for St. Vincent's. Remember that Royal Tern we missed twice? Well, we missed it three times. No Royal Tern today.
We were heading home at a safe speed and had to make one more stop before the sun dropped. We ended up right back in Cape Broyle where we had made our first stop of the day. There were still Greater Yellowlegs feeding in the shallow waters, but once again my attention was drawn to our surroundings as dusk began to envelop us.